Former African-American state legislator to speak at Oct. 13 event
Curtis Graves, left, sits with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a 1967 news conference.

The John W. Stormont Lecture Series and Victoria College’s Museum of the Coastal Bend will present “An Evening with Curtis Graves” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.

Graves will share stories of serving in the Texas legislature, working for NASA and finding the Louisiana plantation where his family had been enslaved. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and reception.             

Graves, an alumnus of Texas Southern University and Princeton University, served in the Texas legislature from 1967-73. Along with Barbara Jordan and Joe Lockridge, Graves was the first African American elected to the Texas House of Representatives since 1896.

Graves spent 30 years at NASA in its academic affairs division and ultimately as its director for civil affairs. Graves currently is an artistic photographer.

In 2015, Graves was formally recognized by the United States Congress for his distinguished public service career.

“This event is an opportunity to learn about American and Texas history from a person who made history,” said Sue Prudhomme, Victoria College’s executive director of cultural affairs. “Mr. Graves was a major force in the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement, working with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is living history.”

The free event is open to the public.

VC’s Leo J. Welder Center is located at 214 N. Main Street in Victoria.

To learn more about the lecture or other programs at the museum, contact the museum’s education coordinator, Amanda Lanum, at (361) 582-2559 or

Curtis Graves will speak on his time serving in the Texas legislature and other topics during “An Evening with Curtis Graves” on Oct. 13 at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.
Published: Wednesday, 05 October 2016

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